What is the Best Dental Schools in the U.S. [2024 Ranking]

1. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is renowned for its comprehensive dental program and extensive network of affiliated clinics. With 120 full-time faculty members and 15 different programs, the school provides students with a wide range of academic learning opportunities. Students can pursue an MBA or a PhD alongside their Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. The University of Michigan also offers advanced specializations such as endodontics, orthodontics, and pediatric dentistry. Additionally, the school emphasizes community dental care and oral health services.

2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry has consistently been recognized as one of the best dental schools in the country. Their DDS program follows the Advocate-Clinician-Thinker (ACT) premise, which trains students to be problem-solvers and advocates for their patients. The school provides ample clinical experience through 50 rotation sites in North Carolina, including two student-led dental clinics that serve over 90,000 patients annually.

Top 10 Best Dental Schools in the US (Plus Full List)

3. Harvard University

Harvard University’s School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) is situated in the prestigious Longwood Medical Area in Boston. As an Ivy League institution, Harvard offers one of the best dental programs in the United States. HSDM students often study alongside Harvard medical students, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration. The school also boasts nine research labs, providing students with ample opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research. Clinical rotations at the Harvard Dental Center offer hands-on experience, serving over 25,000 patients each year.

4. University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry admits 88 students annually to its Doctor of Dental Surgery program. Many graduates of UCLA go on to pursue post-graduate training or advanced degrees in oral biology. UCLA students begin their hands-on patient care during their second year and gain further clinical experience through rotations in community service projects and specialty clinics. The school also offers dental residency programs in specialized fields such as maxillofacial prosthetics and orofacial pain and dysfunction.

5. University of California, San Francisco

The University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry focuses on providing students with exceptional clinical education and research opportunities. With over 100 graduates each year, UCSF has a dental center that serves more than 120,000 patients annually. The school has been ranked as the number one dental school in the U.S. based on funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). UCSF also has a Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health, dedicated to improving overall oral health in children.

6. University of Washington

The University of Washington’s School of Dentistry offers a comprehensive dental program and ranked second in the Academic Ranking of World Universities by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Students at the University of Washington gain valuable experiences through specialized clinics for geriatric patients, individuals with disabilities, and those with psychological conditions and dental fears. Clinical rotations in Seattle Children’s Hospital and other specialty clinics further enhance students’ clinical skills. The school also provides opportunities for pursuing advanced degrees and specialized residencies.

7. University of Pennsylvania

As an Ivy League institution, the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine has a long-standing tradition of excellence. Established in 1878, the school offers a Doctor of Dental Medicine program with various dual-degree options, including bioethics, nutrition science, translational research, law, and public health. The school also emphasizes community outreach and provides dental care to approximately 22,000 patients annually through its Primary Care Unit.

8. University at Buffalo, the State University of New York

The US Continues to Dominate the World's Best Dental Schools in 2021 -  Dentistry Today

The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (UBDM) offers comprehensive study programs with a focus on research and clinical practice. UBDM has various specialized departments in areas such as oral biology, oral diagnostic sciences, pediatric and community dentistry, orthodontics, and restorative dentistry. Students at UBDM begin their clinical training during the first year, and approximately 500 students are pursuing either a DDS degree or a dual degree program with a Master of Business Administration.

9. University of Iowa

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics has been a leading institution in patient care, dental education, and oral science research since its establishment in 1882. The college emphasizes critical thinking and problem-based learning, preparing students for the challenges of modern dentistry. The dental clinics at the University of Iowa see over 170,000 patients annually. The college offers unique specializations, including dental public health, geriatric and special needs dentistry, operative dentistry residency, and oral pathology, radiology, and medicine.

10. New York University

New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry is considered the largest dental school in the U.S., with nearly 10% of U.S. dentists earning their degrees at NYU. The college graduates nearly 400 DDS students each year. NYU provides a comprehensive curriculum that covers clinical, behavioral, and biomedical areas of dentistry. The college offers extensive clinical experiences, allowing students to work closely with faculty and practice directors. NYU’s dental school provides care to approximately 300,000 patients annually.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dental School

Choosing the right dental school is a significant decision that will shape your dental career. Several factors should be considered to ensure that the program aligns with your goals and aspirations. Some key factors to consider include:

1. Student Body

Consider the student body of the dental school you are interested in. It can be beneficial to attend a school with graduates who are already practicing dentistry. If a program is relatively new and lacks graduates, it may be challenging to evaluate its quality. Reach out to alumni from potential dental schools to discuss their experiences and gather insights.

2. Location

Location can play a significant role in your dental school experience. Consider whether you want to stay in a particular region or if you are open to relocation. If you plan to commute, factor in the time it takes to travel from home to school. Some dental schools offer student housing, which can be a convenient option. Additionally, consider whether you would enjoy living in the town or city where the dental school is located.

3. Curriculum Type

The curriculum offered by each dental school will determine the type of education you receive. Some schools focus on foundational science courses before incorporating clinical rotations, while others integrate basic science with clinical experiences from the beginning. Look for programs that align with your preferred learning style and offer a well-rounded education.

4. Dental Experiences Provided

Evaluate the hands-on training opportunities provided by each dental school. Some schools may offer more extensive clinical training, while others focus on community-centric experiences. If you learn best by doing, prioritize schools that emphasize hands-on training. Additionally, consider whether the school offers clinical experiences in your area of interest or specialization.

5. Research or Clinical Focus

Dental schools vary in their emphasis on research or clinical practice. Some schools have a strong research focus, offering research labs and opportunities to engage in scholarly activities. Others prioritize clinical practice and provide ample opportunities for patient care. Determine your interests and career goals to find a school that aligns with your aspirations.

6. Facilities

Consider the facilities and resources available at each dental school. Adequate facilities, equipment, and technology are essential for a comprehensive dental education. Some schools may require additional fees to access certain equipment or labs, so take that into account when comparing programs.

7. Specializations

If you have a specific area of interest or want to pursue a specialized field within dentistry, research the specializations offered by each dental school. Some schools may have strong programs in oral and craniofacial medicine, pediatric dentistry, or oral and maxillofacial surgery. Choose a school that aligns with your desired specialization or offers a diverse range of concentrations.

8. Accreditation

Ensure that the dental school you choose is accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). Accreditation indicates that the program meets rigorous quality standards and prepares you for a successful dental career. Attending an ADA-accredited dental school is crucial for eligibility to sit for national and state examinations. Accreditation also ensures that you receive a high-quality education.

Dental School Statistics

Best Dental Schools in the U.S.

Understanding the current landscape of dental school enrollments and job prospects can provide valuable insights into the field of dentistry. Here are some key statistics:

  • As of 2021, there are approximately 146,200 dentists in the United States.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 6% growth in the job outlook for dentists from 2021 to 2031, with an estimated 8,400 dentist jobs opening up each year.
  • The average annual salary for dentists is $163,220.
  • For the 2021 to 2022 academic year, there were 74,158 dental school applications submitted to 67 dental schools.
  • Approximately 11,756 applicants were screened, averaging at 1,123.6 per dental school.
  • In 2021, there were 6,360 first-year dental school enrollees.
  • The number of dental school graduates increased by 0.85% from 2020 to 2021.

These statistics indicate a positive outlook for the dental profession, with growing job opportunities and a steady increase in dental school enrollments.

Full List of Accredited Dental Schools in the United States

Here is a comprehensive list of all the dental schools in the U.S. accredited by the American Dental Education Association:

State School Address Contact No.
Alabama University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry Rm. 4061919 7th Avenue SouthBirmingham, AL 35233 (205) 934-3000
Arizona A.T. Still University Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health 5850 E. Still Cir.Mesa, AZ 85206 (480) 219-6000
Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine – Arizona 19555 N 59th Ave.Glendale, AZ 85308 (623) 572-3200
California Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC 925 West 34th St. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0641 (909) 558-4222
Loma Linda University School of Dentistry 11092 Anderson St., Loma Linda, CA 92350 (213) 740-2800
University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry 714 Tiverton Los Angeles, CA 90095 (310) 825-9789
University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry 707 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143, United States (415) 502-5800
University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry 155 5th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States (415) 929-6501
Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine 309 E. Second St. Pomona, CA 91766-1854 (909) 623-6116
Colorado The University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine 13065 East 17th AvenueAurora, CO 80045 (303) 724-6900
Connecticut University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine 263 Farmington Ave, Farmington, CT 06030, United States (844) 388-2666
District of Columbia Howard University College of Dentistry 600 W St NW #2005, Washington, DC 20059, United States (202) 806-6100
Florida Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Dental Medicine 4800 Lakewood Ranch BoulevardBradenton FL 34211-4909 (941) 405-1600
Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine 3301 College Avenue Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33314-7796 (800) 541-6682
University of Florida College of Dentistry 1395 Center Drive Gainesville, FL 32610 (352) 273-6700
Georgia Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University 1430 John Wesley Gilbert Drive, Augusta, GA 30912 (706) 721-2371
Illinois Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Illinois 555 31st Street Downers Grove, IL 60515 (630) 971-6080
Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine 2800 College Ave, Alton, IL 62002, United States (618) 474-7000
University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry 801 S Paulina St.Chicago, IL 60612United States (312) 996-7555
Indiana Indiana University School of Dentistry 1121 W Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (317) 274-7957
Iowa The University of Iowa College of Dentistry & Dental Clinics 801 Newton Rd, Iowa City, IA 52242, United States (319) 335-7499
Kentucky University of Kentucky College of Dentistry 800 Rose St, Lexington, KY 40536, United States (859) 323-3368
University of Louisville School of Dentistry 501 S Preston St, Louisville, KY 40202, United States (502) 852-5096
Louisiana Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry 1100 Florida Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119, United States (504) 619-8700
Maine University of New England College of Dental Medicine 11 Hills Beach RoadBiddeford, Maine 04005 (800) 477-4863
Maryland University of Maryland School of Dentistry 650 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201, United States (410) 706-7101
Massachusetts Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine 635 Albany St, Boston, MA 02118, United States (617) 358-8300
Harvard School of Dental Medicine 188 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115, United States (617) 432-1434
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine 1 Kneeland St, Boston, MA 02111, United States (617) 636-6828
Michigan University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208, United States (313) 494-6700
University of Michigan School of Dentistry 1011 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States (734) 763-6933
Minnesota University of Minnesota School of Dentistry 515 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States (612) 625-0402
Mississippi University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry 2500 N State St, Jackson, MS 39216, United States (601) 984-1000
Missouri A.T. Still University Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health 500 W Jefferson St, Kirksville, MO 63501, United States (866) 626-2878
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry 650 E 25th St, Kansas City, MO 64108, United States (816) 235-2100
Nebraska Creighton University School of Dentistry 2109 Cuming St, Omaha, NE 68102, United States (402) 280-5990
University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry 4000 E Campus Loop, Lincoln, NE 68583, United States (402) 472-1333
Nevada University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine 1001 Shadow Ln, Las Vegas, NV 89106, United States (702) 774-2400
New Jersey Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, School of Dental Medicine 110 Bergen St, Newark, NJ 07103, United States (973) 972-4242
New York Columbia University College of Dental Medicine 622 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032, United States (212) 305-6100
NYU College of Dentistry 345 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010, United States (212) 998-9800
Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine South Dr, Stony Brook, NY 11794, United States (631) 632-8989
Touro College of Dental Medicine at New York Medical College 19 Skyline Dr, Hawthorne, NY 10532, United States (914) 594-2700
University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine 3435 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214, United States (716) 262-9750
North Carolina East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine 1851 MacGregor Downs Rd, Greenville, NC 27834, United States (252) 737-7000
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry 385 S Columbia St, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, United States (919) 537-3737
Ohio Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine 9601 Chester Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, United States (216) 368-3200
The Ohio State University College of Dentistry 305 W 12th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, United States (614) 688-3763
Oklahoma University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry 1201 N Stonewall Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73117, United States (405) 271-6056
Oregon Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry 611 SW Campus Dr, Portland, OR 97239, United States (503) 494-8311
Pennsylvania The Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry, Temple University 3223 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19140, United States (215) 707-2900
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine 240 S 40th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, United States (215) 898-8965
University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine 3501 Terrace St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States (412) 648-8616
South Carolina Medical University of South Carolina James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine 173 Ashley Ave, Charleston, SC 29425, United States (843) 792-2101
Tennessee Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry 1005 Dr DB Todd Jr Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208, United States (615) 327-6900
University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry 875 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103, United States (901) 448-6468
Texas Texas A&M College of Dentistry 3302 Gaston Ave, Dallas, TX 75246, United States (214) 828-8100
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston 7500 Cambridge St, Houston, TX 77054, United States (713) 486-4000
UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry 7703 Floyd Curl Dr, San Antonio, TX 78229, United States (210) 450-3700
Utah Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine 10920 S River Front Pkwy, South Jordan, UT 84095, United States (801) 302-2600
University of Utah School of Dentistry 530 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, United States (801) 587-6453
Virginia Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry 520 N 12th St, Richmond, VA 23298, United States (804) 828-9190
Washington University of Washington School of Dentistry 1959 NE Pacific St B-307, Seattle, WA 98195, United States (206) 616-6996
West Virginia West Virginia University School of Dentistry 1 Medical Center Dr, Morgantown, WV 26505, United States (304) 293-6208
Wisconsin Marquette University School of Dentistry 1801 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53233, United States (414) 288-6790


Choosing the right dental school is a crucial step towards a successful career in dentistry. The top dental schools in the United States offer exceptional programs, resources, and opportunities for students. Consider factors such as the student body, location, curriculum type, dental experiences provided, research or clinical focus, facilities, specializations, and accreditation when selecting a dental school. By carefully evaluating these factors and exploring the list of accredited dental schools in the U.S., you can make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and sets you on the path to a rewarding dental career.

Leave a Comment